Gooooood Morning My Food Lovers! 🙂
If you would’ve told me 30 years ago that I’d be writing about fake bacon, I might have laughed in your face. Granted I was a young child, but sitting here now I could see my past self walking up to my Mother asking why would anyone want fake bacon when real bacon is delicious! 🙂
And she would reply with her motherly ways and answers, that not everyone wants to eat bacon. Be it because of their diet, spiritual beliefs and anything in between the choice is theirs. She would then go on to explain why she did not eat it (she’s been plant-based since before we met) and end our conversation with a kind gesture reminding me that I was welcomed to enjoy it. I would listen intently, keeping this fascinating information and ways to respect other people’s food choices tucked away for future use. ❤
Fast forward to today. Actually, 5 days ago. I was in the lab (kitchen) thinking about what I wanted to eat. Some days I can piece together a food outfit rather quickly, other days I snack on dehydrated fruits and water for hours while planning a month’s worth of meals and recipes based off my cravings. I’m wildly fascinated with food psychology, diets, food science, what people eat and why. I’m not allergic to anything and feel perfectly fine eating meat, so I do. However, about 4 years ago I decided to be more mindful with food research, fixing my mind to become “vegan with a side of meat.” It’s not meant to offend anyone, but rather help me while cooking to keep all types of food lovers in mind while creating meals. Everyone’s food journeys are different and some people do have food allergies, so it’s just easier on my brain to cook from my family and clients perspectives. Plus I love a good food challenge and party 🙂
ANY WAY, for the past 5 months I’ve been close to 75% plant-based and 25% everythang else. I have thoroughly enjoyed every meal and the conversations connected to the new dishes people have introduced to me. So when I was thinking about what I wanted to eat, everything was plant-based approved, except for one item.
I’m not gonna lie, had it been any other day I would have topped my black bean burger with a slice of the best bacon. Alas, it just so happens to be one of my mom’s favorite burger and as I told her about what seasonings would go on this faux bacon, she encouraged me to give it a go. She spoke the beautiful words, “I would try it.”
BOOM. Music to my culinary ears! 🙂
Y’all. This bacon made me so happy. It’s got that yummy smoky flavor and made with simple ingredients. The strips are made with rice paper, allowing the chance to achieve the level of chewiness or crispness you want. How do I know? Well, because I made roughly 50 pieces in one night! I was so inspired by the first batch, I tried all different combinations and sizes. I even made a bacon bowl, wrapped a few strips around asparagus and tried my hand at a bacon-shaped skateboard. (Don’t ask.) In case you were wondering, my Mother approved it, as well as two bacon-loving skeptics. #Score! I’m most excited about the new opportunities this brings to our table, and hope it does the same for you! I welcome you to try this recipe. Let me know what you think; we food lovers have to stick together 🙂
Food Lovers Unite,
❤ The Smitten Chef ❤
Rice Paper Bacon (Vegan)
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 7-10 minutes Total Time: 27-30 minutes
Yield: 24-30 pieces
- 8-10 sheets of rice paper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- an enjoyable pinch of cracked black pepper (ground pepper works perfectly too!)
- pinch of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (optional, but the sweetness helps to round out the flavors)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the rice papers in a wide bowl until the nutritional yeast is mixed well. This will be your marinade.
Fill a second bowl halfway with water.
Line a baking sheet with one layer of parchment paper. (If you have multiple baking sheets, you can line them all and cook the bacon all at once!) 🙂
Carefully cut rice paper into thick strips, or into the size that you want. (The strips will shrink in size a little bit when cooking.)
Take two strips and stack them. Holding them together, dip them very quickly into the water.
Dip the pair of rice paper strips into the marinade and coat it fairly generously; place it onto the parchment paper.
Repeat with additional rice paper and rice paper strips until the baking sheet(s) are filled.
Over time, the oil might start to separate; if that happens simply whisk the marinade again to emulsify.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. The strips can burn easily, so stay close and rotate the baking sheets halfway while checking on them. The bacon will be crispy with some chewy spots. ❤
Store leftover bacon in an airtight container for up to 3 days…if it lasts that long! 😉
What we have had made with this bacon: Bacon bites, asparagus wrapped bacon, bacon wrapped mushrooms, taco bowls, loaded baked potatoes and as a topping on salads, chili, and pasta. #NomNom ❤
Below are all the pictures of this exciting food adventure. You can see how quickly things escalated once I made the first batch, hahaha!
Happy Food Trails!